The perils of Santa

Based on the latest research reports to cross my desk in the past week, three trends are emerging.

Firstly, IT professionals are clinging to their jobs praying the downturn will pass them by while the second trend shows the annual office Xmas party can be more ruinous to your career than any failed IT project.

The third research report claims that by 2010 the dynamics of an IT department will change drastically.

Put simply, techies will be transformed into “relationship managers” taking care of outsourcing providers instead of tackling the nuts and bolts maintenance jobs that are done today.

So in a nutshell, according to these reports, IT managers are spending less time job hunting, creating scandals at the office Xmas party, and are preparing to spend more time on the phone with vendors and less time at the keyboard. Meaningful research? Well the first report by the Meta Group certainly comes as no surprise.

The days of job hopping were typical of the dotcom era, but they certainly don’t exist now as the weak economy ensures IT professionals stay in their current positions longer.

This is particularly true for CIOs. They are staying in their jobs for an average 3.5 years, which undoubtedly provides the stability needed to execute business strategies.

Now the behaviour of these same professionals at the office Xmas party is an area in which I choose not to speculate. But the National Safety Council of Australia claims this single party ruins more careers than any other workplace event.

So if you are tired of the usual banter by the office water cooler then cheer up the Xmas season is upon us. This is when conversation turns to drunken dalliances in accounting or the time Johnny from HR photocopied his private parts after the end-of-year lunch. Heading the danger list issued by the Council is too much alcohol sparking offensive behaviour and loud-mouth comments, followed by sexual harassment and bullying.

So if you still have a job after Xmas you can start preparing for Gartner’s new look IT shop, which the research firm says will involve a complete change of mindset for the IT manager.

By 2010, an IT manager will have fewer technical skills and more business skills managing a department that is largely outsourced. But in the meantime maybe you can get your IT shop’s Santa wish list together and drop me a line at

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